Living Between a Promise Made and a Promise Kept
Recently, I was reading through the book of Joshua, and I came across this wonderful statement about God, “Not one word of all the good promises that the LORD had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.”
It is a testimony born out of experience. It is not a statement that comes at the beginning of the book, but rather at the end of the book. Indeed, the promise was made at the beginning of the book as Joshua was about to lead the people of Israel into the Promised Land. In Joshua 1:3 God states his promise, “Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised Moses.” But it is not until you come to the end of the book that you are able to look back and see what God has done. God kept his good promise.
This is instructive for us, because most of the book of Joshua shows us how to live in the middle of a promise made and a promise kept. Isn’t that a good description of the life of faith? A life of faith is a life lived between a promise made and a promise kept.
So how do we live in the middle of a promise made and a promise kept? The answer is found in the refrain often repeated at the beginning of the book of Joshua. As Joshua was being prepared to lead the people of Israel into the “Promised” land, over and over again he was told to “be strong and courageous.” In other words, life lived between a promise made and a promise kept isn’t always easy and it requires us to trust God.
And so what does God promise us for this journey of faith? He promises, “I will not leave you or forsake you” (1:5). So first of all, God promises his presence. And then God gives us his word, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success” (1:8).
So here is God’s promise to us. He will never leave us or forsake us. Jesus said, “I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). Secondly, God’s word is true! Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).
So as you make your journey to the “Promised” Land, be strong and courageous. Trust the God who keeps his promises. Know that God will never leave you. Trust the Word of God.
The older we get in faith the more we can look back on this journey and add our testimony to the testimony of Joshua, “Not one word of all the good promises that the LORD had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.”
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